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Newly Formed Partnership Will Better Train Cities to Use Data, Evidence

The National League of Cities and Results for America are slated to bring new training to cities to help them reach What Works Cities certification.

One of the largest advocacy groups for municipal governments in the nation has committed to helping its members enhance their use of data and evidence to solve local problems. 

The National League of Cities (NLC) in partnership with Results for America (RFA), a lead partner within Bloomberg Philanthropies' What Works Cities, will cultivate several opportunities for local government leadership. This will include a series of workshops, called NLC University, to address foundational data practices in the local government space. 

The workshops ultimately allow participants to work toward What Works Cities certifications while advancing their understandings of data and evidentiary practices.

“Last year, What Works Cities set a new standard of excellence in data-driven governance with the introduction of certification,” Clarence Anthony, National League of Cities CEO, said in a press release. “NLC is proud to partner with Results for America to bring these best practices to our membership and help them reach that bar. Together, we can drive better outcomes that have the power to improve the lives of millions of our cities’ residents.”

Simone Brody, executive director of What Works Cities, said her organization and NLC have long had a great relationship, and this will help her group’s work as well. Earlier this year, What Works Cities reached its long-sought goal of working with 100 official participants. 

“Frankly, we’re also seeing a lot of demand among cities outside of the 100 to do this work,” she said.

As such, this new partnership is a means of bringing that work to a broader group of local governments than just the 100, helping organizers move toward an almost do-it-yourself approach to fostering these values and lessons. 

Basically, where the first phase of What Works Cities focused on working with a group of 100 cities, organizers have now begun to think about a second phase that goes beyond that in a practical and broader way.

The partnership will also include programming during the 2018 City Summit in Los Angeles Nov. 7-10 as well as other events.

Associate editor for Government Technology magazine.